Chandigarh Post

Anything and everything about Chandigarh, a young, modern city stuck between a hoary past and a confusing future. This blog intends to give you a view from Chandigarh, of all that is happening in this world, and beyond. I write it, but it reflects multiple views and thoughts, 'coz I am a mere observer, whose thoughts are shaped by the environment in which I exist.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Children of a Lesser God?

Last week, I happened to visit Asha Kiran, a Home for rehabilitation of destitute and differently-abled children. Located in sector 46, Chandigarh, Asha Kiran is a government institution and like much else that has the prefix Govt attached to its name, this institution too is falling victim to official apathy just within one year of its inauguration.

Living quarters

I dont have many words to express what I felt, and how I feel about it now. Words, I guess, are inadequate in this case. Sadly, I am not a good photographer and I was in no mood to capture any images. But whatever photographs I could manage with my mobile phone, are given below:
Kids in their common room

Mobile VAS: The Growth Agenda: Watch Out for the Mother of All Auctions: 3G Licenses Set for New Revenue High

Mobile VAS: The Growth Agenda: Watch Out for the Mother of All Auctions: 3G Licenses Set for New Revenue High

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Of Friends and Politics

Last weekend I caught up with Mayank (name changed), an old friend whom I was meeting after two years. Mayank was my junior at school. At the institution where we went through our paces, the juniors were kinda' non-existent - treated as invisible for all practical purposes except for when it came to getting something done out of the way. I remember, when I left school, with bag, baggage, and trunk in tow after my fifth form examinations, it was with mixed feelings. I was sad because I was leaving a place where I had spent some of the best years of life. I was excited 'coz now was the time to do things that one had heard of but never got the opportunity, or the courage to indulge. The first few months passed by in a whirl. The state of aimless wandering, however, could not have lasted long. There wasn't much joy in doing things without your usual group of friends. The familiar faces, with whom you had spent the major part of your life till that moment, are no longer around you. Instead you end up with real people in the real world, people who come from different backgrounds and environments and who unlike you have their priorities absolutely right. Anyways, that is another story to be told some other time.
A few years after leaving school I met Mayank in a different setting. He had passed his tenth and was pursuing a college degree. I was happy to see him. Because by this time, most of my classmates had dispersed and meeting up anybody from school, whether senior or junior, a bully or a siss, was special. 'Coz here was an individual, with whom you could identify, who would laugh at your old jokes 'coz he understood the context, apart from the fact that the person was a living example of 'people like us', a self-confessed tribe of superior people! When we met, Mayank still retained the school tradition of showing respect to your seniors (with hands behind the back) and was pretty cool about it. Years passed by and we were often out of touch for long durations of time.
And then I met him in Chandigarh last Friday evening. Mayank's father is a senior Cabinet minister in the BJP Government in Himachal Pradesh. So I expected a changed person - you know the kind with changed airs, a posse of security guards, and vision clouded by an air of self-importance. Mayank, however, appeared pretty cool about it - in fact I did not find any difference at all. He had got married and was working with a global bank at New Delhi. We did a bit of clubbing, guzzled beer, talked about school, laughed a lot, and generally roamed around with no specific agenda. He was very particular about his driving, seat belt pulled in place, taking care not to jump traffic lights even by mistake. I asked him, what did he plan to do next? He responded that he was on his way out from the corporate sector. He would be moving back to his village within the next three months and start working on a project aimed at social uplift. He wanted to join politics but only after enough experience under his belt. But did he fit in, a straight - talking, guileless fellow? Why not, he said. I could not help but feel amused when he said that politics needed people like him. We were standing in a busy market, simply marking time.And as we were about to leave, a posse of cars, sirens blaring, flashing beacons screaming for attention, made a stop right in front of us, in a No Parking zone. Out stepped a young guy still in his teens, surrounded by five guards. Carrying a look of invincibility, he stepped on the pavement and gave a mouthful to a shop owner for not sending the right DVD to his house. I looked at the guy and I looked at Mayank. Sure, the society would be a better place with guys like him in politics.
I could not say it then, but I wud like to say it know: Mayank, buddy, carry on and do your best. You would be doing a favor to the others around you. Politics does need people like you.

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